On June 24, 2020, PILMA released the following statement in opposition to price controls contained in the ACA Stabilization legislation.
The coronavirus pandemic has elevated the importance of The Pharmaceutical Industry Labor-Management Association (PILMA), a coalition of unions in the building construction trades and companies in the biopharmaceutical industry.
During this unprecedented pandemic which has shut down the U.S. economy, laid-off tens of millions of workers, and resulted in many tragic casualties, now is not the time to stand in the way of a cure.
H.R. 1425 aims to help Americans pay for affordable medicines and healthcare coverage, but it misses the mark. While ACA stabilization is an essential initiative during this time, the proposed way to pay for it would decimate the one industry the entire world is looking to for a solution.
PILMA has long standing opposition to instituting government price control measures. The ACA Stabilization would tie the price of medicines to prices in foreign countries, upending the market-based system that America has depended on to fuel current and future innovation.
The men and women working in the building and construction industry have been hit disproportionately during this abrupt economic downturn. Workers have stepped up to retrofit buildings to prevent the spread of infectious disease, built triage and pop-up hospitals in record time to make sure that America is ready to meet the needs of patients.
At the same time, the biopharmaceutical industry has been working at unprecedented speed to research, develop and be ready to manufacture a vaccine for coronavirus. Under normal circumstances, the average cost to bring a single medicine to market is $2.6 billion.
The biopharmaceutical industry has not relied on the government during this critical time. However, having to support not only medical research and development, but also requiring the industry to pay for medicines and providing health insurance would irreparably damage the industry. Through this crisis, our nation has experienced a disruption in the pharmaceutical supply chain due to COVID-19. This has exposed and compounded our need for reliable prescription drugs manufactured in the U.S.
The biopharmaceutical industry supports more than 4.7 million jobs nationally. This bill would have a dramatic impact on medicine research and development, which would have economic consequences across many sectors, including construction projects and maintenance. The men and women of the building trades depend on the jobs the industry supports through building and retrofitting manufacturing and research facilities that will one day produce the cure to the coronavirus that has upended the world as we know it.
We are acutely aware of the need to control costs in all aspects of health care, but now is not the time to place more financial strain on an industry that is doing its part to find a cure for this pandemic. PILMA opposes the price controls contained in the ACA Stabilization Act.